Friday, August 10, 2012

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Homeschool Regrets- looking back

Overall, I am happy about our homeschool experience. But there are still some nagging regrets. Basically, when we started out there were some things that I just assumed would happen, but they just never did. They are:

Travel:  We did get to Los Angeles, and SanFrancisco and to the Georgia Coasts and parts of Florida but we had hoped that since we were homeschooling, we'd get to see more of the country and even get overseas, two things stopped us.
  • Scheduling.  Our schedule was not as flexible as we thought it would be.  Because the kids were in a homeschool program that met weekly, our lives weren't as flexible as we thought it would be. 
  • Money.  They economy went screwy so flying a family of four around the country went from something that we didn't think twice about to something we didn't even think about.  You never know though.  Maybe we can squeeze in a big trip this year and get a good deal on flights to Sydney Australia or  scrape up the money to go on the European trip that the homeschool program has scheduled over spring break. 
More relaxed approach:  I never did get over my own educational training.  I went to Catholic school from 2nd to 8th grade after getting pulled out of Special Ed in public school because I never belonged there.  Then I went to our local public school. I was a B+ student in high school, and tortured myself over getting the best grades I possibly could.  Then in college, once I got the hang of things, I was a B student, also more focused on grades than life enjoyment.  While I didn't emphasize grades with my kids, I did emphasize doing you best at all times and I held onto a mental checklist to make sure they didn't have any holes in their education.  Interestingly enough, when I decided to have my daughter's homeschool portfolio accredited, I found that I was harder on my kids (academically) than any teacher or school would have been.  She was given a lot more credits than I had issued for the work she completed.  For example, I had the kids doing what I decided was a 1/2 credit of Spanish a year.... I felt that foreign language needed more work and time.  The assessor re-interpreted it as a full credit for each year.  The good news in this is that people shouldn't think for a minute that homeschoolers give their kids a less stringent education than public schools.  More good news is that my daughter's Senior year will be more relaxed.

Field trips:  Not being more relaxed (see above) kept us from doing as much experiential learning as I would have liked to. The few field trips we did take were so awesome, I think it is plain silly that I didn't do it more.  We did do the following:

  • Nutcracker
  • Bodies, the exhibition
  • Titanic, the exhibition
  • Tybee Island and Savannah Forts
  • Various Ballet performances
  • A couple homeschool plays
  • The Atlanta Aquarium
  • Civil War Reinactment
  • Martin Luther King Museum
  • A couple science talks
  • Midnight space observatory
  • La Brea Tar Pits
  • Local Children's art museum
  • Science Museum in Richmond VA
  • Botanical Gardens
  • Mountain Climbing and Skiing in Tennessee
  • Tennessee Aquarium
Most of these were done in the first 5 years.  The last 5 years have been more sparse.
 Don't think I am beating myself up though.  We did get alot accomplished that was probably more specifically geared to my kids needs,  with my daughter involved in Theater and my son involved in theater tech and computer programming.

I wrote this more to point out that I feel I could have been more flexible in our homeschooling and am encouraging you to keep spontaneity in your homeschooling and find more room for Travel, for field trips, and to RELAX.


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